Freshers’ Reps

These are the people who have organised the events for Induction Week and will be around throughout to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact any of them before coming to Durham as they are all more than happy to help.

Introduction from your Senior Freshers’ Rep, Sam Martin

Hi there everyone and welcome to the best college of all, the wonderful St Mary’s! A massive congratulations needs to go out to every single one of you because to get here, you have already done unbelievably well. We cannot wait to meet you all and show you why we think that Mary’s is the best college in Durham. My team and I have been working for months now to try and make sure that you get the best Induction Week possible so have an absolute blast!

First though, a little bit about me – I am a third year here at Mary’s studying politics and international relations. I sat on the JCR Exec as Sports Officer for 2016/2017 and have been heavily involved in 6 sports teams (captaining 4 of them), 3 plays, the fashion show, frepping and open day repping. At a university level I’ve been in some plays and am also the sports commentator for Durham University and have radio shows on Durham’s very own station, Purple Radio – so prepare for plenty of Alan Partridge style references during the week! If you have any questions about sport or just college life in general then I’m your man!

I can remember feeling exactly how I imagine you’re feeling at this very moment – nervous, maybe a little intimidated about the experience that is coming up for you at Durham University. My one piece of advice would be to dive right in (Ed Sheeran quote right there) and enjoy this place because it is absolutely fantastic. Mary’s is a homely, supportive and wonderful environment where everyone has the chance to try their hand at anything they might be interested in, whether that is playing on a rugby team, taking the lead in the production of a musical, setting up a society or helping out at one of our many fantastic formals.

I’m personally really excited to meet you all because I know that you will have a great time at St Mary’s and we have a great Frep and Exec Team here to look out for you and help you through those first few days of uni life. We will all be walking round in our purple t-shirts all week and will be organising a massive range of activities for you throughout the week. These vary from nights out to murder mystery events in college, grub and pub crawls, picnics and sports taster sessions and in college events such as our festival and back to school bops. These have been so much fun to organise and we cannot wait to meet you all and see just how much you love them!

If you have any questions at all before you arrive or throughout the week then please do email me on or feel free to come and find me! We all want to make sure that you have the best Induction Week possible so please, if there is anything at all that you need help with or simply something you would like to find out, then come and find me or one of my team!

We cannot wait to meet you and see you in October!

Sam Martin

Senior Freshers’ Representative 2017/18

Freshers’ Reps (‘Freps’)

Chloe Blakesley – 3rd Year Psychology 

Hey all, my name is Chloe, I’m so excited to welcome you to Mary’s and can’t wait to see you fall in love with college as much as the rest of us frep-keenos have!

Over the past 2 years I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in 7 college societies, sat on the JCR exec as last year’s Head Female Welfare officer and held the position of Dance Group President. In summary, I know a lot about college and will happily answer any questions *ramble* about any and all aspects of college life; but if you have any particular questions about Welfare at Mary’s (WAM), Dance Group or Psychology – I’m your gal. I’m also a coffee addict so please find me if you want to consume excessive amounts of caffeine whilst wandering around this beautiful part of the world.

The best part of my time in Durham has definitely been contributing to the welfare provided by students for students as part of WAM. We really worked on making peer and college support more accessible last year and WAM has become an even more integral part of college life. It’s so encouraging to see everyone engage with fun awareness events as well as caring about sensitive topical issues.

Finally, my biggest piece of advice would be to remember that integrating into a new community is hard at times, but I PROMISE at Mary’s there are people you can reach out to who care and want you to have the best experience you can, whatever that looks like for you.

Love Chloe xoxo


Lewis Smith – 3rd Year Engineering

Hello Mary’s Freshers! Congratulations on getting into Durham you brainy bunch. I’m Lewis, an economist turned engineer from sunny Manchester, and I’m one of your Freshers’ Reps for this year. Welcome to one of the most inclusive and friendliest colleges in Durham. Mary’s is fantastic, and it will quickly become an integral part of your university life. I whole heartedly encourage you to get stuck into the activities this week, and in-fact into everything that is on offer this year, being a fresher is an opportunity to try new things and find your niche!

Induction Week itself is a time you will laugh and look back on in years to come, mostly accompanied by “How did I survive that?”, “Why did I do that?” and “Is there a second Induction Week??” I had the genius idea of painting my eyebrows fluorescent pink for Newcastle night, only to wake up to the college year photo the next day with the paint still etched into my brows!

Societies are a large part of university, over the past two years I’ve been a part of the Pantomime, Charity Fashion Show, Rowing, Basketball, Jazz and Volleyball clubs at Mary’s. If you have any questions regarding any of these do not hesitate to throw them my way (in particular about Volleyball as I’m looking for fresh meat for a new team to compete with this year!).

It is worth noting that each person’s experience at university is unique, if you aren’t settling in right away, don’t worry! You will as time passes, it is crazy how close you will get to your peers in only a couple months and how much can change in that little bit of time.

We do have tons of support on offer if you are feeling the initial blues, feel free to talk to a Frep, member of staff, or WAM.

With all that said,

Goodbye home, Hello Durham, Let’s have a blast!


Alex Boyd – 2nd Year Engineering

Hello everyone, and welcome to St Mary’s. I’m Alex and I’m a second year studying Engineering.

I play Mary’s rugby and for any of you involved in Mary’s rowing I’ll be running your socials next year which I promise will be an absolute blast! I am also one of your Palatinalps reps for this coming year, so if you have any questions regarding your plans for Durham’s Annual Ski Trip I’m the one to ask. More information about this will be released throughout the year but the ski trip is a great way to cement friendships on the snowy slopes of France!

My favourite part of college life has been how easy it is to go to friends’ rooms to talk, and occasionally to rearrange their furniture as a sensational prank/attempt to realise my dream of becoming an interior designer.

My advice to anyone starting would be to make the most of the second years’ advice, and abuse them by asking all the questions you have. Other than that, get out of the ‘Durham Bubble’ occasionally, don’t get too drunk at college events, and perfect your timing to get seconds at meal times.

Any questions, contact me at

James Callender  – 2nd Year Modern Languages (Spanish, Catalan, and Management)

Hey everyone, I’m James a second year from Yorkshire studying Spanish, Catalan and management as part of a degree in Modern Languages and Cultures. (Bit of a rogue combination I know!) First things first I’d like to say well done on smashing your A levels and getting into Durham!

First year was honestly the best year of my life and I spent the year playing for both Mary’s rugby team, which I will be the Vice-Captain of next year, and a college all-star side rugby side too! I’ve also worked behind the bar, made fleeting appearances for Mary’s C Team football and I ran, swam and cycled all for Charity in a 48 hour triathlon that we did at college last year!

For me the best thing about being at Durham and Mary’s in particular has been the sense of community and camaraderie that’s truly unique. Last year I was skeptical of this ‘friendliest college’ reputation but it really is true! The highlights for me were the post exam events such as the Midsummer Ball and Mary’s Day but really the whole year has been amazing.

You all have absolutely nothing to worry about coming up for Induction Week, but it is natural to be nervous, all I would say is be yourself and forget about any notion of “reinventing yourself” at uni. Just be who you are. If anything’s worrying you, talk to the Frep team and we’ll do all we can to help!

If you have any questions about anything feel free to get in contact with me via email me on

Jess Chadwick – 2nd Year Biology

Hi everyone, I’m Jess, a second year Biology student!

Congrats on getting into Durham, and, more importantly, into Mary’s! I know this is a bit of a scary time but Mary’s isn’t known as the friendliest college for nothing!

During my first year I got involved with Mary’s Environment Committee (of which I am now the head, please read on to the exec bit!), as well as Mary’s Cheerleading Squad. I also joined the mixed college women’s rugby team, Cuthle (Cuth’s, Castle and Mary’s), although this year Mary’s are hoping to present their own side.

Unquestionably my number one memory at Mary’s would be the cheese table at the Midsummer Ball. I ate a sickening amount of cheese and I am proud to say it was one of the best choices of my life.

My top-quality advice for your time at Mary’s is to always remember to check the use by dates of what you put in the fridge in your pantry. By a certain point in the year my floor’s fridge was filled with highly toxic items and never underestimate the utter disgusting-ness of gone-off milk!

I am always happy to chat if you ever need anything so feel free to contact me at

Have a great summer and see you in Induction Week!

Charlotte Delaforce – 2nd Year English Literature

Hey everybody! I’m Charlotte and I’m from London and I’m about to start my second year of my English degree. I hope you all have an amazing summer and congrats on getting into Durham – I’m sure you will love Mary’s.

While I’ve been at Durham, I’ve been involved in the SCA (Durham’s volunteering organisation) by becoming the co-leader of the Thurston drama project, and have been involved in the DST (Durham theatre). Within college, I was on the Masquerade ball committee, and was an events rep for the Communities Committee (organising volunteering events for college), and was on the Mary’s Hockey team. I will also be the co-social secretary for college Mixed Lacrosse. I would highly recommend getting involved in as much stuff as you can in college and out, especially if you have a degree with fewer contact hours!

My favourite memory from last year has to be spending half an hour playing with guide dogs in the DSU as an exam de-stressing session. Would seriously recommend – you will find me there again this year!

My one big piece of advice is to just relax and throw yourself into college as much as you can during Induction week, things will come together eventually even if they don’t seem to at first. If you have any questions about English, or are interested in any of the things I’ve mentioned feel free to message me on Facebook or email me at

Ellie Dench – 2nd Year Modern Languages (French and Spanish)

Hey there everyone, I’m Ellie and I’m a second year Modern Languages student here at Mary’s! I have absolutely loved my time at Durham because it has allowed me to get involved, and in fact spend most of my time at Durham, training with the Divas – which are our very own university cheerleading squad. The team are all lovely and it is always really fun to have something extra-curricular to do when I’m not actually studying for me degree, which focuses on French and Spanish languages.

As well as this, I also work a couple of shifts a week in the famous Mary’s bar, which although small has a great atmosphere, especially after a formal when everyone piles down! The whole year has been amazing and it’s so hard to choose one highlight above all, but if I had to narrow it down to just one it would have to be Mary’s Midsummer Ball. It’s the best night to celebrate getting through that first year of uni and the end of exams and with 12 hours of fun, from 6pm to 6am you simply can’ get bored! If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to branch out and meet as many new people as you can throughout Induction Week, you really make some of the best friends during just one week! But most of all, have fun! xoxo

Phoebe Evans – 2nd Year Liberal Arts (Italian, History and Classics)

Heya freshers! I’m Phoebe, a second-year Liberal Arts student studying Italian, History and Classics. Last year I lived in Teikyo, so for all you freshers living there this year (and of course everyone else too!) feel free to come and talk to me about any questions you may have upon arrival at uni. I’m a member of St. Mary’s Netball Club and Social Committee, and at a university level have been involved with the Italian Society too (mostly for the free wine and pizza). I also have a job at Bill’s down in town, so if you have any questions about juggling a job while at uni then I’m possibly a good person to ask.

A few of my favourite memories from my freshers’ experience at Mary’s were the tied rugby-netball social in second term, Midsummer Ball, and Mary’s Day. You’ll probably hear a lot of people raving about the events we have here at Mary’s, so I would highly recommend getting stuck in with their organization, as it’s a fab way to get to know people and be involved in college. I would also say if after Induction Week you don’t feel like you know loads of people, be patient and you’ll find that throughout first year, and even second year, you’ll get to know far more people. I hope you all enjoy first year as much as I did last year – Mary’s is an amazing college full of amazing people, so make the most of it!


Zach Fox – 2nd Year Music

Hey everyone! I’m Zach, a second year from London (big up Dulwich) studying Music so come have a chat if you’re like me and you can’t HANDEL going too long without LISZT-ing your favourite composers or if you want to discuss the correct location of the North-South Divide (a hotly debated topic in Durham, and the answer is obviously Watford.)

Seriously, Congratulations and Welcome to Mary’s! We are so excited to meet you all and we hope you are just as excited to move into your new home here in Durham.

Durham’s collegiate system is great because there are so many things to get involved in, at both College and University level. I would highly recommend getting stuck in with sports and societies in College because they will provide a nice break from your degree, but it also allows you to socialise and get to know lots of different people in College, including people in different years. I am in the Rugby team and I was also the Head of Music at Mary’s Day last year (the best day of the year for sure) and this year I am running the Durham Uni Big Band. I loved my first year at Mary’s so I encourage you all to find the things you love doing as soon as possible so you get maximum enjoyment from your time at Mary’s.

We hope you enjoy your Induction Week and if you have any questions whatsoever, please feel free to email me at or add me on Facebook (my profile is amazing you won’t regret it.) See you soon!

Grace Haynes – 2nd Year Ancient History

Hello everybody and a hugely warm welcome to Mary’s! My name’s Grace and I’m a second year studying Ancient History here at Durham.

Since being in your position this time last year, I’ve gotten involved in so many different things in college, and had the best year of my life doing so. I loved helping to run campaigns in college for WAM (Welfare At Mary’s) and Environment Committee, as well as being part of Midsummer Ball and Mary’s Day committees after exams.

The fondest memory that I have from my young fresher days, would have to be Mary’s Day. It was just the best day ever; friends, sunshine, obstacle courses, amazing live music by some of Mary’s finest, an ABBA tribute act, with the rest of the night in the legendary Klute as a ‘grand’ finale. What more could you ask for?

In terms of advice, please do not be afraid to talk to your academic adviser. Although it may seem daunting at first, they’re your first port of call with any queries about your course. You’re paying a lot for your degree (sorry to remind you), so talk to them to get the academic support you need to do your best. This way you’ll get the most bang for your buck (#phraseoftheday).

Speaking of talking to people, if you have any questions whatsoever, please feel free to contact me at I’d love to help where possible! Apart from that, congratulations on getting to Durham, and I can’t wait to see you in October!

Millie Hubbard – 2nd Year Modern Languages (French, German and Spanish)

Hi everyone! I’m Millie and I’m a second-year studying Modern Languages and Cultures. I will be studying French and German this year, but I also studied Spanish last year, so if you have questions about any of these languages, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

During my first year at Mary’s I’ve started rowing for the college Boat Club (SMCBC). I’ve taken part in several regattas so far and hope to continue more competitively this year. I have played in rounders and mixed lacrosse matches, which have been great fun and extremely relaxed! I have also set up Mary’s Swimming Club (SMCSC), which I am hoping to develop this year with weekly sessions and hopefully with galas against other colleges. I take part in aerobics classes led by the university Aerobics Society and enjoy going for runs and to the gym too. I also love sampling all the different cocktails with the university Cocktail Society (CocSoc)!

The highlight of first year was definitely Midsummer Ball, where I decided to go on the fairground ride thirteen times, which probably wasn’t the best idea as my head was already spinning a little from the wine at dinner! Riding the dodgems in heels was also fun and watching the sunrise on Observatory Hill was a special moment too.

If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be that it’s never too late to make friends, for instance I made some of my closest friends in the middle of second term. There are many people at Mary’s, which is great but makes it impossible to get to know everyone straight away. Try not to be tempted to sit down with exactly the same people in the dining hall, especially during the first few weeks of term.

I hope you have loads of fun during Induction Week and settle in well at Mary’s! Feel free to approach me with any questions/ concerns that you may have or contact me on Facebook or email me at

Toby Parsons – 2nd Year History and German

Hi there everyone! My name is Toby and I’m a second year from south London studying History and German. First of all, congratulations on securing a place at Durham and above all getting in to Mary’s! We can’t wait to see you for Induction Week when we’ll be welcoming you to the college where you’re guaranteed to be spending some of the best years of your life.

There is genuinely something for everybody to get involved in at Mary’s, whatever your talents or interests. Personally, I’ve become wildly obsessed with college football, and will have the privilege of being your A team captain next year, so please come and chat to me about all things footie. Whether you back yourself as Durham’s answer to Pelé or simply want to get involved in the buzzing social side of the club, SMCFC has a place for you. Every sports team has a social side which is a great way to meet people and form bonds with other students that may end up becoming your best friends!

Other than the opportunity to join a wealth of clubs and societies, Mary’s offers amazing events throughout the year for you all to get excited about; my biggest highlight of first year would have to be the 12 hour midsummer ball at the end of 3rd term. An evening (and morning) to remember for sure. In terms of advice, I’d say nothing more than to simply be yourself and see where your uni experience takes you. I can assure you that, whilst you might feel nervous now, you’re about to meet loads of like-minded people who’ll become your friends for life.

If you have any questions about anything at all please feel free to message me or email See you in October!

Sam Williams 2nd Year Economics

Hello everyone! I am Sam and I am a second year studying Economics. In my first year I played football and rowed for college as well as being a social member of rugby and mixed lacrosse. This year I am rowing for the University so anybody who is looking to compete in any sport for DU feel free to ask me anything! I had so many great moments last year, including the Palatinalps ski trip, but the best was on Mary’s Day when the whole college joined together to sing our college song: Angels by Robbie Williams. You will find quickly that Mary’s is rather unique as a college community which makes all college events very special. My advice would be to follow the cliche and try as much as possible, even if you only go once, as it’s one of the best ways to meet people. But more importantly than making friends, go to dinner at 6.45 so you can get second portions… and learn to like potatoes cause college dinners do provide a sizeable amount of these …

Induction Week is always hailed as the best week of your lives which, although we will try, for some people it isn’t. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t an amazing experience and a week you will always remember. You only get to do this week once so make the most of it, however exhausting it gets. The year only gets better and better after Induction Week so even if its not what you expected it to be initially don’t lose faith. I was you only 12 months ago, and all the Freps have experienced Induction Week, the good parts and the bad, so genuinely don’t hesitate to ask us anything.

Much love, Sam


Jonathan Wong – 2nd Year Physics

Hi everyone, huge congratulations on your fantastic results that have brought you here – on behalf of all of us, warmest greetings to Durham and more importantly to St. Mary’s! My name is Jonathan, and I’m a second-year physics student from Central London.

University life may seem incredibly daunting and intimidating at first, but the unique charm and sense of community at Mary’s will soon make you feel at home and you’ll realise how lucky you are to be a part of our lovely College! The people you’ll meet and range of activities to be a part of provide a wonderful family and opportunity that is simply unrivalled.

College is a great place to try out new things, and during my first year I was largely involved in Ultimate Frisbee, whose B Team I will be co-captaining this year, and several theatre production teams. On top of this, I’ve also performed in Live Lounges and even started my first paid job, working in the Toastie Bar!

On a university level, I’ve been a course representative for the Physics Department, and am mainly involved in the Ballroom and Latin American Dancing Society (BALADs) – I will be an Exec member this year. Social dancing is a fantastic place to meet people and my highlight of last year was meeting my dance partner in the first week – she later became my college wife after we got married in a black tie event with all our friends following our Christmas Ball!

I’m really looking forward to meeting all of you and helping to contribute to what will be the most exciting part of your life so far – one thing I’d advise is to keep your door open when you’re in your room during the first few days in Induction Week – everyone will be anxious to look for new people to meet and chat to, particularly those in the rest of your corridor!

If you are interested in things I’ve been involved with or have any questions on anything big or small, please don’t hesitate to ask in person, or by email at Here’s to a great year!

Introduction from your Senior International Students’ Rep, Tullia Fraser

Hello everyone – if you’re an international student, hi again! I’m Tullia (Julia with a T), a second-year archaeologist from Hong Kong. I’m so excited to be working with the lovelies that are Luke and Sam, as well as an excellent team of (i)Freps to give you an Induction Week to remember!

While you’ll be seeing me around a lot during Induction Week, my duties mainly lie in organizing the International Induction Week. That takes place 4 days before Induction Week and is designed to help us international students settle down. There are quite a few of us, so you might catch us chilling in our rooms on move-in day (Sunday)!

This is only a short intro from me – click onto the International Students section of the website for a more lengthy insight into my life, my world, my happiness.

I can’t wait to meet you all soon!

Tullia Fraser

Senior International Students’ Representative 2017/18

Rebecca Kingston – 3rd Year Law

Hi everyone! My name is Rebecca (the one on the right in the photo) and I’m a third-year law student, with a German module. In the last two years at Mary’s, I’ve been involved in both college and uni-wide societies. In college, I am on the cheerleading squad, have been a part of Welfare at Mary’s (WAM) and a member of SocCom (setting up balls and formals), been an Open Day Rep, and am president of the college theatre society this year, Foot of the Hill Theatre Company, so feel free to throw all your questions at me! I’ve also been involved in uni-wide societies like Durham Student Theatre, the Law Society, Instep (dance), SCA (local volunteering) and DUCK (volunteering in India). Oh and I played in a basketball match for Mary’s that one time.

My favourite time in college last year was definitely Mary’s Day. You get to relax with all your friends, enjoy college and we had an ABBA tribute band (who doesn’t love ABBA?)- it’s the best day of the year and I can’t wait for you all to experience it!

I definitely encourage you all to join as many societies as possible in your first year and then choose your favourites. Don’t be scared to try new things, I was a complete beginner in most of the societies I joined. Also joining uni-wide societies is the best way to make friends with people from other colleges. Do as much as you can in first year, it goes by so fast!


Ellie Ng – 3rd Year English Literature

Hey everyone! I’m Ellie, a third year English Lit student from Hong Kong. A huge congratulations for getting into Durham (!!!) and an even bigger one for getting into Mary’s (!!!!!) I’m sure congratulations are being handed to you ceaselessly from every other person you speak to and I promise that once you’re here you’ll realise how much you deserve them. In my years at Mary’s so far I’ve been involved in a whole range of things; a few of the best ones have been International Rep, social secretary for Hockey, and Winter Ball Exec. With everything that goes on, asking me to pick a favourite memory from Uni so far will one day be like asking me to pick my favourite child. One that does stick out is a crowd of Mary’s supporters heading down, in the middle of Durham winter, to watch our college Rugby team play a match. When I think of it now, all I can remember are people wrapped up in the fattest coats you’ll ever see, obnoxiously chanting, and cheering on our college as if it were the Six Nations. My advice is write it all down. Have a note in your phone or a journal on your desk where you store all these incredible memories you’re going to make because trust me, you do not want to lose any part of them. If you have any questions about anything at all feel free to send me an email ( or message me on Facebook!

David Fairbairn – 2nd Year Maths

Welcome to Mary’s! I’m David, a second-year mathematics student.

During my time at Durham, I’ve founded the Vinyl Record Society and I have been an active member of both the Computing Society and MathSoc, as well as having some of my photography up for exhibition in the college.

Mary’s Day is the best time I’ve had while at Mary’s. This day comes after all your exams have finished at the end of the year. It was marvelous weather with great music, great people, amazing entertainment and an incomparable atmosphere while dancing in front of a stage to an ABBA tribute band.

This is important, try to never miss Saturday brunch. It is a time to just relax, have some breakfast (something you may not have had all week) and to have a good catch up with your friends. Especially if you have been stuck in your room or the library all week finishing a summative. This is a meal that you will grow to love as your love for potatoes slowly goes downhill.


Pamina Husseini – 2nd Year Music

Hi everyone! I’m Pamina, a second year music student from a small town near Geneva in Switzerland. Welcome to St Mary’s!

I really enjoyed my first year in Durham and got involved in several societies such as Durham University Orchestral Society, Durham University Palatinate Orchestra, St Mary’s Chapel Choir, as well as bands for several concerts with the Durham Opera Ensemble. Apart from music, I took part in the Teikyo University parenting scheme, which consists in spending time with the exchange students from Japan to introduce them to the British way of life. I’ve also been a member of St Mary’s Football Team but I was so enthusiastic that I managed to break my ankle and spent my first term in Durham walking with crutches… however I got quite famous thanks to that – I was the ‘girl with crutches’, super glorious title I have to say – and met lots of people, who were all adorable. So don’t worry if things don’t go as planned, there will always be someone to help you!

Performing at the first live lounge of the year – during Induction Week – was probably my favourite moment in Mary’s. Indeed, I met some of my closest friends this evening and we organized our own gigs together at the end of the year. So don’t hesitate and try everything, you never know what could happen and which opportunities you may be able to take!

If you have any questions or just want to have a chat, please do keep in touch on Facebook or email me on

Hope you’re having a fab summer and I can’t wait to meet you all!!!

Havishyan Thakral – 2nd Year Geography

Hi everyone, my name is Havi and I am a second year Geography student! I come from India, but have spent my school years in international schools in Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore. Feel free to come up to me if you have any questions or queries or just to catch up for a chat, I’d be more than happy to help!

At Mary’s, I am involved in various societies, sports and music. I am part of the Geography Society (SMUGS) and the Desi Society (MADS). As for sports, I am one of the Ultimate Frisbee A Team captains. I also play for the college Badminton and Table Tennis teams. And lastly, I am part of Mary’s Mixed Voices (MMV)! In the wider Durham community, I am co-Vice President of the Durham University Geography Society (DUGS).

My favorite moment of first year was my first Live Lounge performance that took place during Induction Week. There were still many new faces in front of me, and as hesitant as I was to be up on stage, I realized how important it was to make the most of every moment, and of every chance to get involved in the activities that you enjoy the most.

Thus, the best piece of advice I can offer to you Freshers is to keep your eyes and ears open to the various Societies Fairs both at Mary’s and University-wide, as well as taster sessions. This will ensure that you don’t miss out on the chance to try out the amazing range of activities that Durham has to offer!

Can’t wait to see you all soon!

To contact me, there’s: Facebook Messenger (for the quickest response!) or email –

Jayna Viswalingam – 2nd Year Liberal Arts (Philosophy, Economics, and English)

Hello incoming freshers!! My name is Jayna and I’m a Liberal Arts student. Mary’s is such an amazing place and you’ll learn quite fast that there are so many things you can get involved in. I decided to try something new and join the cheerleading team and it’s really taught me that Mary’s gives you the opportunity to be involved in whatever you want to be, including things you’re a complete beginner at. I’ve also been involved with being a conversation partner to Teikyo students through a CU initiative and learning a bit of Japanese from them as well (or at least trying!). I think the best memory I have from my first year is sitting on the grass on the sunny Mary’s day listening to the acoustic performances with the feeling of just being in the right place surrounded by the best people.

Overall, the best advice I can give to you all would be to take advantage of college life and the diversity of people, nationalities and backgrounds and get to know the range of people that we have at Mary’s! It’s a great time to meet and talk to people you wouldn’t necessarily have come across before! Embrace your first year because it all goes by so fast!



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